Shields goes 7 scoreless innings as White Sox beat Twins 6-1
CHICAGO (AP) — At age 36, James Shields is not in the picture of the future for the rebuilding Chicago White Sox.
Still, he remains a big part of the present.
Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia homered and Shields limited Minnesota to four hits over seven innings, leading the White Sox to a 6-1 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night.
Shields (3-9) struck out five and walked just two in his only scoreless start of the season. The veteran right-hander lasted just 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Oakland on Friday. Before that, he had worked at least six innings in 11 straight turns and has gone at least seven innings five times. After struggling through the last two years following his arrival in a trade with San Diego, Shields has begun to settle in.
“He’s a guy that kind of balances out our rotation,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He shows these guys how to grind through an inning, get through certain situations, remain calm, understand that no matter how much havoc occurs around you, the best thing is to try to execute pitches.”
Tim Anderson and Charlie Tilson each had two hits and an RBI for Chicago, which has won three straight games and four of five.
“The pitching and the defense were really good,” Shields said, “and the hitting was phenomenal.”
Ehire Adrianza had four hits and an RBI for Minnesota, which has dropped two straight games and five of six. Twins starter Kyle Gibson (2-6) allowed five runs on 11 hits in seven innings.
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Abreu and Garcia led off with singles. One out later, Leury Garcia doubled to drive in Abreu. Anderson followed with a run-scoring single, and Omar Narvaez drove in a run with a ground out. Abreu’s solo homer in the fifth stretched the lead to 4-0.
Avisail Garcia’s solo homer in the eighth made it 6-0. The Twins tacked on a run in the ninth, but they fell to 34-42 to match their season high of eight games below the .500 mark after another night of chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone.
“Lefties had a hard time laying off the slider, especially down and in,” manager Paul Molitor said. “We really didn’t hit too many balls hard.”
With two outs in the sixth, Eddie Rosario walked and Brian Dozier singled to put runners on first and third and give Minnesota a chance to close the gap. But then the game took a bizarre turn. With Max Kepler stepping to the plate, Twins third base coach Gene Glynn suddenly was ejected by third base umpire Gerry Davis.
“He had wanted a balk the inning before,” Davis said to a pool reporter. “I explained to him it was not a balk, told him I wasn’t sure he knew the definition of what a balk was for a stop. The next half inning he came out, brought it up again ... and I ejected him.”
BALK TALK II
Later in the at-bat, Shields faked a pickoff throw to first and then spun around to throw to third baseman Yolmer Sanchez. Shields was called for a balk, which allowed Rosario to score and Dozier to move up to second.
Renteria argued, claiming Shields stepped off before faking to first, which is within the rules. After huddling, the umpires overturned the balk, sending the runners back. Molitor came out to protest and was quickly ejected.
“It was suspicious in the fact that we couldn’t tell if he disengaged with the rubber at all,” Molitor said. “There’s a lot of things about the move that are suspect to me.”
Shields then struck out Kepler looking on a 71-mph curveball to end the inning.
Twins CF Byron Buxton (broken left big toe) is scheduled to play both games of a doubleheader with Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He’ll DH one game and play the field in the other.
RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 4.97 ERA) pitches the final game of the three-game series for the Twins, looking to bounce back a rough outing. He gave up for six runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings against Texas on Saturday.
RHP Lucas Giolito (5-7, 7.01 ERA) takes the mound for the White Sox, aiming to win a second straight start.